Marking The Platinum Jubilee of the Duke of Lancaster

The Duchy of Lancaster marked the start of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend with a service of thanksgiving at The Priory Church followed by a private reception and beacon-lighting at Lancaster Castle on Thursday 2nd June 2022.

The service, which was open to anyone who wished to attend, was led by the new Vicar of The Priory Church in Lancaster Leah Vasey-Saunders and the Bishop of Lancaster Jill Dunn. Guests of honour included The Lord Shuttleworth KG KCVO, Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lancaster City Mayor Joyce Pritchard, Professor Dame Sue Black, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University, Mr Nathan Thompson CVO, CEO of the Duchy of Lancaster and Mrs Pamela Barker DL, Constable of Lancaster Castle.

Immediately after the service, guests processed from The Priory Church to the Castle’s John O’Gaunt gate and then through to the Chapel Courtyard where a commemorative datestone carved by the Castle’s resident stone sculptor Alan Ward was unveiled by the Lord-Lieutenant. Cadets from Lancashire Army Cadet Force lined the route and, as the piper Ryan Guthrie played ‘Diu Regnare’, the Lord-Lieutenant’s cadet James Edwards carried the flame by torch from the first beacon on the ground floor of the inner courtyard to the roof of the imposing stone-built Gatehouse. Here, accompanied by bugler Ashley Greathead playing ‘Majesty’, the Constable of the Castle lit the roof-top beacon so that it could be seen across the city.

Morecambe Brass under Musical Director Captain Andrew Porter then struck up the National Anthem and the Priory choir led the communal singing before finishing off with the traditional Lancastrian toast.

Commenting on the event, Duchy CEO Nathan Thompsons CVO said: “It was a superb evening and an absolutely fitting tribute to the longest serving Duke of Lancaster in this nation’s history. The genuine affection and special connection felt by the people of Lancaster for The Queen as their duke was plain to see. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this such a special and memorable evening for all.”